Roman Blue III – “Black Beverly Hills”

 Roman Blue III – “Black Beverly Hills”

Roman Blue III – “Black Beverly Hills” – Single Review


So here’s the thing.  There’s never going to be a time where I’d want any single one of the artists or bands out there to release new material and not have them be excited about it, know what I mean?  You SHOULD be excited about whatever you’ve come up with next, and when you’re promoting it, of course you want to add some hype to the release too…it’s the nature of the game, and those of us that have spent our lives in the scene are plenty used to it – it’s the way things are supposed to be!  The balance required is the toughest thing to achieve though…it’s one thing to feel like you’ve got the song of the year coming out, and it’s another thing to actually have the song of the year, you feel me?  The more buzz I hear surrounding any new release, the more I’m hoping to hear something completely different than anything else that’s out there already…and it’s extremely rare that that’s ever the case if I’m being real with ya.  I don’t fault Roman Blue III for being excited about his latest single, especially when you consider the momentum he’s currently experiencing with his music career and his past cut called “3AM & Ride” gaining the most traction he’s had to-date out there in the online realm.  As to whether or not it’s going to be “Black Beverly Hills” that takes him to that next level…honestly, I don’t know that I’m as convinced as he might be.  I’m not saying that it’s not at all possible, but there are obstacles in the way.

Exhibit A…when was the last time you can recall a song at this pace taking the nation by storm?  Again – I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I am saying it’s crucial to be realistic when setting expectations.  “Black Beverly Hills” is pretty close to a slow-jam, but not quite…it’s sitting in that deadly mid-tempo spot that claims about a million souls a year.  They’re not the typical ‘singles’ we hear, because unless you’ve got a dedicated ballad or an up-tempo cut on your hands, chances are, the masses tend to naturally resist just about everything else.  Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the music you wanna make, it simply means you’ve gotta have a grip on what the public tends to respond to when we’re talking about single-worthy tunes.  In the case of “Black Beverly Hills,” I think Roman has the odds stacked against him even more by the song not really possessing that inspired spark that makes every listener feel like they need to hear it again right away.  As in, he might be so laidback & chilled out in this performance that it’s actually quite risky to release this as a single, because you really want people to hear those reasons to return as instantly as possible in that regard…“Black Beverly Hills” is more like the deep cut you find on an album.

Don’t get me wrong…if it seems like I’m hatin’ on Roman, I’m really not – I’m just objective, honest, and realistic about the things I listen to, and I call things like I hear’em, that’s all.  Believe me when I tell ya, as a critic, you get real used to the fact that not everyone out there wants to hear the hard truths most of the time (okay, just about all the time), but that’s what our pages have always been about.  As always, I’m nothing but fair – I’d be the first to line up and tell ya that Roman Blue III has a ton of potential, a high degree of professionalism, and even though I might not feel like “Black Beverly Hills” is a single by its typical definitions, I’d still readily vouch for the fact that he’s rockin’ with an extremely relevant sound.  Performance-wise, I think he’s done an exceptional job with like, 98% of this whole song…I might question the spot where he’s rollin’ through his list of names and whether or not that spot would be more effective if it was completely on-beat as opposed to sliding out of place a little, but that’s nothing so detrimental that it’d stop you from listening, it’s just something for him to consider for the future.  When you’re going for smoother-than-smooth sound and fluidity in the flow, you wanna make sure that stays the number one priority…all I’m saying is that the rest of the song has it, and his list of names slips a bit by comparison.  The sound of “Black Beverly Hills” is nothing short of perfection when it comes to the production, and also the sound of Roman on the mic as well – at the end of the day, all you can do is give the material everything you’ve got, and in the case of this cut, he’s certainly done that.  I also think that a deep cut, traditionally, is the kind of song that essentially takes longer to grow on you – they don’t have the noticeable flashy hooks that we tend to associate with singles, but that doesn’t mean we end up loving these songs any less after we have a healthy listen to’em.  I mean…to be completely real with ya, I’ve heard just about every way you can approach making a single in a million different ways at this point in my career…so for myself personally, it’s the deep cuts that I’m usually seeking out, because they tend to do things a bit differently and they hold up longer over time and repetition, which I suspect will be the case with “Black Beverly Hills.”  I’ve gotta be as honest with Roman as I am with everyone else – I don’t know that the people are gonna come banging down the door to get this single, but I am confident that the fans of Indie-Emo, Slow Trap, R&B, and Soul will probably appreciate this track on their playlist after they had the chance and opportunity to spin it a couple times and let the weight of this cut sink in.  It’s a faded melody, and if you’re listening closely to the production, you’ll find the attention to detail is in all the right places…the work has been put in, so don’t get it twisted, I do like what I hear.  It’s my job to challenge artists like Roman Blue III to put their best foot forward and put their music out there in a way that it’s gonna get noticed by everyone listening…that’s what I do.  Content-wise, I felt like Roman’s on-point there as well…he’s an artist with something to say, and he knows exactly how he wants to say it.  Signature sounds also take time to build, if that’s what he’s going for.  I think everything about “Black Beverly Hills” confirms there’s a real artist at work here, but also hints that there is so much more in the tank that we’ve yet to hear too.  There’s swagger, there’s style…heck, there’s even substance in this cut as well, but if we’re talkin’ about singles, I’m not as sure that’s what “Black Beverly Hills” is by definition.  Trust me…I love being proven wrong…so if you feel a differently type of way about this song, then get out there and listen to it!  No doubt that he’s got talent, and time will tell and the hit counts will show if he’s got something more special than I’ve credited him for in this cut…but for now, I feel like this is just a mere taste of what this guy is really capable of and that Roman’s best material is still ahead of him.

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